Quotes About Opportunity


There is an hour in each man's life appointed
To make his happiness, if then he seize it
    - Beaumont and Fletcher

Opportunity.—Opportunity is rare, and a wise man will never let it go by him.—Bayard Taylor.

Many do with opportunities as children do at the seashore; they fill their little hands with sand, and then let the grains fall through, one by one, till all are gone.—Rev. T. Jones.

Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good actions; try to use ordinary situations.—Richter.

The best men are not those who have waited for chances, but who have taken them,—besieged the chance, conquered the chance, and made the chance their servitor.—Chapin.

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows, and in miseries:
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

The opportunity to do mischief is found a hundred times a day, and that of doing good once a year.—Voltaire.

There is an hour in each man's life appointed to make his happiness, if then he seize it.—Beaumont and Fletcher.

There is no man whom fortune does not visit once in his life; but when she does not find him ready to receive her, she walks in at the door and flies out at the window.—Cardinal Imperiali.

Nothing is so often irrevocably neglected as an opportunity of daily occurrence.—Marie Ebner-Eschenbach.

[Pg 199]Give me a chance, says Stupid, and I will show you. Ten to one he has had his chance already, and neglected it.—Haliburton.

That policy that can strike only while the iron is hot will be overcome by that perseverance which, like Cromwell's, can make the iron hot by striking; and he that can only rule the storm must yield to him who can both raise and rule it.—Colton.

Opportunity has hair in front; behind she is bald. If you seize her by the forelock, you may hold her; but if suffered to escape, not Jupiter himself can catch her again.—Seneca.

Opposition.—The effects of opposition are wonderful. There are men who rise refreshed on hearing of a threat; men to whom a crisis which intimidates and paralyzes the majority—demanding, not the faculties of prudence and thrift, but comprehension, immovableness, the readiness of sacrifice,—comes graceful and beloved as a bride.—Emerson.

He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.—Burke.

A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against and not with the wind. Even a head wind is better than none. No man ever worked his passage anywhere in a dead calm. Let no man wax pale, therefore, because of opposition.—John Neal.

It is not ease, but effort,—not facility, but difficulty, that makes men. There is, perhaps, no station in life in which difficulties have not to be encountered and overcome before any decided measure of success can be achieved.—Samuel Smiles.


Who seeks, and will not take when once 'tis offered,
Shall never find it more.
_Antony and Cleopatra, Act ii. Sc. 7_. SHAKESPEARE.

This could but have happened once,
And we missed it, lost it forever.
_Youth and Art_. R. BROWNING.

He that will not when he may,
When he will he shall have nay.
_Quoted in Anatomy of Melancholy_. R. BURTON.

He that would not when he might,
He shall not when he wolda.
_Reliques: The Baffled Knight_. BISHOP T. PERCY.

Urge them while their souls
Are capable of this ambition.
Lest zeal, nor melted by the windy breath
Of soft petitions, pity and remorse,
Cool and congeal again to what it was.
_King John, Act ii. Sc. 2_. SHAKESPEARE.

Turning, for them who pass, the common dust
Of servile opportunity to gold.
_Desultory Stanzas_. W. WORDSWORTH.


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